29 November 2007

The English Patient

Despite last year's report by Derek Wanless urging the Department of Health to reconsider its policy of means-testing for care such as washing, dressing and cleaning, Health Secretary Alan Johnson still believes Scotland is wrong to provide free personal care for the elderly, prompting Labour MP Charlotte Atkins to accuse him of giving English patients "a raw deal" compared with those in Scotland.

Whatever happened to an NHS free at the point of use? Going the same way as the NHS dentist? Has Labour abandoned its post-war vision of "cradle to grave" welfare-state reform, of which it was until fairly recently so proud?